UFC 8: David vs. Goliath
UFC 8: David vs. Goliath was a mixed martial arts event held by Ultimate Fighting Championship on February 16, 1996, at Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The event was broadcast live on pay per view in the United States, and later released on home video.
UFC 8 featured an eight-man tournament, and a UFC Superfight Championship fight between Champion Ken Shamrock and Kimo Leopoldo. The event also featured one alternate fight, which was not shown on the live pay-per-view broadcast. The tournament had no weight classes, or weight limits. A 10 minute time limit was imposed for all matches in the tournament.
Also, this was the first UFC where three judges scored the fights - in order to eliminate any potential draws - possibly in response to UFC 7 where a draw was declared after 33 minutes of the Superfight where Ken Shamrock fought Oleg Taktarov. The referee for the night was 'Big' John McCarthy. The event's matchups pitted larger fighters against smaller fighters, hence the term "David vs. Goliath".
Local promoter for the historical first and only profesional mixed martial arts event was Richy Miranda-Cortese, whos company Sports & Entertainment Ltd had to take local Government officials to Federal Court in order to avoid cancellation of the event by the Government.Among those government officials was Governor Pedro Rosello and Sports and Recreation Director Erick Labrador.The presentation of the event developed into a new boxing commission rules and regulations and Imposition of a banning Law that was later overturned after Miranda-Cortese fought it in court.
UFC 8 was the first appearance of fan favorite fighters Don Frye and Gary Goodridge, who both scored stunning knockouts that would be featured extensively on future UFC highlight reels. The championship fight featured Frye vs. Goodridge, with Frye taking the victory via strikes 2:14 into the fight.
The event is also notable as being the first MMA event to draw criticism, including local politician Calvin McCard’s on site protests at UFC 8. These protests would spark the nationwide movement against MMA in 1996, spearheaded by Arizona Senator John McCain, which would later temporarily push the sport in the United States underground in 1997.